Journalism and free speech trials: Week of Feb 4-8

31 January 2019

This week several journalists will appear before judges. Below is a list of this week’s journalism and free speech trials:

February 4, Monday

  • Also known as the “Conspiracy in Balyoz” trial, hearing of journalists Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Baransu, Yıldıray Oğur, Tuncay Opçin and Yasemin Çongar will be held at İstanbul 3. High Criminal Court in Silivri. Journalists are charged with “founding/leading a terrorist organization” and “maintaining secret state documents in relation to national security”. The hearing will go on for two days.

February 6, Wednesday

  • After the publishing of the news report regarding the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks allegedly carrying weaponry to Syria, Can Dündar, Enis Berberoğlu and Erdem Gül were sued for “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization without being a member”. Their hearing will be held at İstanbul 14. High Criminal Court at 10:30 AM.
  • Journalist Can Dündar will be on trial due to the aforementioned news report, on “procuring/spreading secret information with the intent of espionage” charges, at 10:00 AM, at İstanbul 14. High Criminal Court.

February 7, Thursday

  • Evrensel Editor-in-Chief Fatih Polat will appear before Bakırköy 31. Criminal Court of First Instance on “insulting the president” charges.
  • Ragıp Zarakolu and Büşra Ersanlı will be on trial among many other defendants, at İstanbul 3. High Criminal Court on “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization” charges.
  • Food engineer and columnist Bülent Şık’s hearing will be held at İstanbul 2. Criminal Court of First Instance. Şık is charged with “maintaining and revealing classified information” due to his article series published in Cumhuriyet titled “State hid the foods that give Turkey cancer, we are making it public! Here is the poison list”.
  • Charged with “membership in a terrorist organization” due to his social media posts criticizing the Turkish Army’s military operation in Syria, Atılım newspaper Editor-in-Chief Deniz Bakır will be on trial at İstanbul 27. High Criminal Court.